The National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu conducts as leading committee the proceeding of draft Acts regulating national security and defence, exercises civilian supervision over the national structures of power and participates in the shaping of national security and defence policy.
The National Defence Committee
The National Defence Committee was first formed at the 1st Session of the Constituent Assembly on 21 May 1919. The Committee included eight members:Karl Ast (Rumor), Jaan Vain, Mait Püüman (Püümets) from the Estonian Social Democratic Workers Party; Aleksander Veiler, Julius Seljamaa (later Minister of Foreign Affairs) from the Estonian Labour Party; Karl (Kaarel) Einbund (Eenpalu) (later Speaker of the III–V Riigikogu, State Elder and Prime Minister), Jaan Tõnisson (later Speaker of the II and V Riigikogu, several times State Elder and Prime Minister) from the People’s Party; Jaan Raamot (later Minister of Agriculture and Alimentation) from the Estonian Country People’s Union.
The National Defence Committee is one of the standing committees of the Riigikogu that was re-established on the basis of the Resolution of the Supreme Council on 4 April 1990, and the Resolution of the Riigikogu on 7 October 1992.
Chairmen of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu: lieutenant general Johan Laidoner (I,II,III and VI Riigikogu- National Council), Ado Anderkopp (II and VI Riigikogu- Chamber of Deputies), major general Jaan Soots (IV and V Riigikogu), August Jürima (VI Riigikogu- Chamber of Deputies), Rein Tamme and Enn Tupp (Supreme Council), Rein Helme (VII Riigikogu), Peeter Lorents (VII, VIII Riigikogu), Tiit Tammsaar (IX Riigikogu), Sven Mikser (X Riigikogu), Toivo Tootsen (X Riigikogu), Mati Raidma (XI, XII Riigikogu).
Former Members of the National Defence Committee include, for example, freedom fighter Enn Tarto (VII, VIII, IX Riigikogu), US Army Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) Jüri Toomepuu (VII Riigikogu), Professor of Law Igor Gräzin (VIII Riigikogu), former Prime Minister, European Commissioner Siim Kallas (VIII Riigikogu), Olympic champion Jaan Talts (VIII Riigikogu), economist Valve Kirsipuu (IX Riigikogu), former Prime Minister Edgar Savisaar (IX Riigikogu), historian and linguist, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Trivimi Velliste (IX, X, XI Riigikogu), conductor and musician Tarmo Leinatamm (X, XII Riigikogu), singer and composer Siiri Sisask (X Riigikogu), former Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces Vice Admiral (Res) Tarmo Kõuts (XI Riigikogu), basketball player and coach Jaak Salumets (XI Riigikogu).
Advisers, Heads of Secretariat of the National Defence Committee: Andres Mihkels (VIII, IX Riigikogu) and Aivar Engel (IX, X, XI, XII Riigikogu; official of the Committee since 1992).